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Supervisor, Starship Heat Shield



People & HR, Operations
Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


The Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) team tackles Space Exploration’s toughest problems by developing the heat shields for our next-generation rockets and spacecraft. This hardware must survive the most extreme environments known to mankind and protect our vehicle through atmospheric entry. The Supervisor is responsible for leading a team of operators, fabricators, and technicians building the ceramic heat shield tiles for Starship. The Supervisor must drive progress on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day, and week-by-week basis. The Supervisor of the team will take technical direction from the Engineering and development teams and execute those directions by building, retaining, and managing their team effectively; distributing labor resources, prioritizing certain aspects of the build, and setting headcount requirements where necessary.

With production output severally increasing in a near future, the supervisor need to adapt to a fast pace development environment in conjunction with setting high output production manufacturing standards and controls.

The Supervisor is also a key enabler to a successful, productive, highly effective culture of responsibility and accountability with a large emphasis on individual improvement. For this role specifically, it is highly important that the Supervisor is an inspiring leader often-times working side by side with their build team to execute on the mission to bring the capability of flying astronauts back to the United States.


  • Supervise a 24x7 shop floor activity including schedules and workflow through front line leaders across the both shifts.
  • Lead and manage a staff of ~25 technicians including all performance management related tasks.
  • Own production output results, continuously understand root cause for disturbances
  • Elaborate action plans with multidisciplinary teams and hold accountability for their execution with team and stakeholders
  • Continuously improve process and manpower efficiency, utilization, and productivity.
  • Champion set up of new manufacturing line and processes, defining production flow, standards and waste elimination
  • Review work instructions, and make change recommendations when needed to engineering and the shop floor.
  • Assess and vet the appropriate skillset needed.
  • Identify training needs, and develop training programs to meet present and future mission needs.
  • Provide required data and reporting to support departmental metrics and improvement objectives.
  • Monitor labor hours and overtime, and implement improvement plans and time management with staff.
  • Accomplish production results by communicating job expectations; plan, monitor, and appraise job results.
  • Effectively organize, assign, and track work/deliverables for the team; ensure seamless progression through multi-shift work schedules.
  • Initiate and foster a spirit of cooperation within and between departments.
  • Ensure product quality and conformance to specifications.
  • Improve area safety and efficiency through regular auditing and continuous improvement.


  • High school diploma or equivalency certificate.
  • 3+ years in a leadership position.
  • 6+ years in manufacturing or production.


  • Experience with applying lean manufacturing principles, efficiency methods.
  • 10+ years of experience in aerospace, automotive or ceramic manufacturing environment.
  • Experience bringing teams and processes from development to production.
  • Familiarity with Design for Manufacturability, Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and Failure Mode Effects Analysis.
  • Ability to effectively communicate (verbal and written) with Engineering and Production.
  • Able to adapt to constant changing work assignments and fast paced work environment.
  • Excellent concentration and attention to detail with outstanding work efficiency and accuracy.
  • Prior leadership experience either military or aerospace industry.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline.


  • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 8 hours min.
  • Must be willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed – anticipated 25% travel.
  • Must be able to travel for short and extended trips as needed.
  • Ability to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg.

Pay Range:
Supervisor: $105,000.00 - $135,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.